Grateful Dead Live at Field House, Wesleyan University on 1970-05-03
- Live concert
- Grateful Dead
- DeadLists Project
This will probably be of most interest to the oldtimers who can still enjoy vintage audience recordings, those who collect 1970 recordings missing from the Dead's vault or completists, not to mention the 1970 caretaker of Deadlists.
I was recently given first generation reel to reel copies of The Dead and NRPS at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT on May 3, 1970 to transfer into the digital realm. I've checked Deadlists, Deadbase and The Compendium and I think this is the first time the complete contents of the master reels are together, as none of those listings include all of this material. I can also shed light on who recorded it, the accurate song order and how it probably came into circulation (partially) years ago.
According to notes written on the first gen reels, the three original master reels were recorded by a Wesleyen student named Warren White as part of an assignment for a Professor Schenk (we think thats how its spelled. The
handwriting on the reel cases is difficult to read). There were originally three master reels altogether, two half-hour reels and one hour-long reel, all recorded at 1 7/8ips. Those master reels were borrowed from Schenk by
another student (in the late 1970¹s) and dubbed to 1st generation reels by my wife's uncle - Alan Bershaw. Without a deck that would run at 1 7/8ips, Alan
said he played the master reels back at 3 3/4 ips while recording them onto reels at 7 1/2 ips, which allowed him to play back his first generation reels at 3 3/4 ips - at the correct speed.
At that time, several 90 minute cassettes (of the last 90 minutes, including all the Dead material) were given to friends of Alan's and to the guy who borrowed the master reels from Schenk. Currently circulating copies likely
originated from those 2nd generation cassette dubs, many probably way down the line since this all happened in the late 70's.
If Deadlists/Deadbase/Compendium is correct on what circulates, this new copy includes all of this material possibly for the first time. While this is still far from a great recording and its still probably incomplete, its likely an improvement over all the currently circulating copies. There are also no butchered songs and no reel stops/starts between songs like most audience recordings of this time. The geneology on this new copy is Master Audience Reels@1 7/8 ips (played back @3 3/4 ips)-> Reels@7 1/2 ips > (then played back @3 3/4 ips to correct speed on Revox A-77)->DAT@44.1k
It should also be noted for context that this is the night before the Kent State shootings, which is significant in light of the various announcements on these recordings.
During the May '70 tour, the band used campus equipment to save money whenever possible, and for whatever reason Wesleyan did not hook up a recorder at the board.
The Wesleyan show took place during a student strike to protest the war.
The recording deck was an old reel-to-reel Uher machine owned by sociology professor Charles Lemert. Anyway, at the show, the portable Uher was passed around, which explains the hilarious banter among the crowd, and the apparent inability to read a clock. It was conceived, according to Lemert, as a sociological document, not a concert recording.
The "sloping lawn behind the administration building" is actually called "Foss Hill." At Wesleyan, it's not entirely clear where Foss Hill ends and the baseball/football field smack-dab in the center of campus begins, but in any case, just calling it "Foss Hill" would certainly be accurate enough.
pb (20 Sep 2002 )
P.S. For trivia buffs, Wesleyan is also the alma mater of John Perry Barlow, who was class president in '69, and Bill Belichick '75.
- 2004-05-30 19:59:52
- AUD > MR > ? > CD > EAC > SHN
- Middletown, CT
- Audience (remastered)
- Taped by
- Warren White
- Transferred by
- Jim Goldman and SIRMick
Subject: Was "Professor Schenk" actually Karl Scheibe?
Subject: Photos From The Show
Subject: university archive recording
The additional tracks with different songs on the WMA copy have been checked, and they are from 4/12/70.
Even more interesting, I looked up the Wesleyan University Media Collection -
And they have a VIDEO of this concert.
More details here:
Subject: Wesleyan's copy
Since all of the people there at the time have reported that the concert was at the foot of Foss Hill, not in the Field House, perhaps the title of this entry can be changed to reflect that. Also, I can offer a couple of observations from looking through Wesleyan directories at the time: there was a student named Warren White (class of 1971), but I find no professor named Schenk in Sociology or any other department. And while Charles Lemert was a Sociology professor at Wesleyan for many years, he didn't start teaching here until 1982. He and Schenk could certainly have been involved in recording the concert, but neither were Wesleyan professors at the time.
Subject: Personal Recollection
Subject: Evening with the Dead
Contrary to others' posts, the atmosphere was electric, no pun intended. There was a movement afoot to bust Black Panther Bobby Seale out of prison in nearby New Haven, and radicals in the crowd were urging everybody to surge down to New Haven and participate. A moderating factor was the desire of the majority of students to simply get stoned and enjoy the music. The issue was decided when a tall, black gentleman took the microphone, and said that he had ridden his motorcycle all the way from California to help the Panther cause, and he knew he and all of us had done and were continuing to do the best we could with that, and that it was now time to chill out and enjoy some of the best music on the planet. The audience cheered in agreement, and the rest is taper history. Thanks so much for posting these tapes!
Subject: A day in history
Subject: Origins of my connection with the Dead
Subject: Not that bad quality
Subject: bad quality
Subject: Where is China Cat?
Subject: A shame about the quality
cruise around all afternoon, my parents made me come home
and I missed the dead who didn't play till about 9 PM.
0 out of 5
Subject: Antiquarian interest
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